Tunesday: The Dead, Box of Rain

original_GD_skull_roses_colorAnother rain post–AND a Tunesday post–one of my favorite songs.  Anyone who ever had the pleasure of attending a outdoor Grateful Dead show in the rain knows what very special luck that is. Some bands run for cover, but the Dead just kicked it up a notch and dove into a “rain set.”

The last Grateful Dead show I ever saw, at Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh, was twenty years ago today–June 30, 1995.  I went with Brian & Donna, my sister, and my mom–yep, my mom, whose eccentricities have been discussed elsewhere in this blog. Local heroes Rusted Root opened, and nearly shook the place apart, then the Dead hit the stage like a cool summer breeze.  About halfway into the evening the skies opened–it was a rain show, and it was amazing, beautiful, and tight–a rarity on that tour, from what I understand.  Maybe it was the rain?  Maybe it was the roses?

A mere forty days (and forty nights) later, on August 9,  Jerry Garcia was dead.

The last Grateful Dead show I ever saw, a mere forty days (and nights) before Jerry Garcia died was a rain show, amazing, and beautiful.  How lucky was that?


By JunkChuck

Native, Militant Westsylvanian (the first last best place), laborer, gardener, and literary hobbyist (if by literary you mean "hack"). I've had a bunch of different blogs, probably four, due to a recurring compulsion to start over. This incarnation owes to a desire to dredge up the best entries of the worst little book of hand-scrawled poems I could ever dream of writing, salvageable excerpts from fiction both in progress and long-abandoned. and a smattering of whatever the hell seems to fit at any particular moment. At first blush, I was here just to focus on old, terrible verse, but I reserve the right to include...anything. Maybe everything, certainly my love of pulp novels, growing garlic, the Pittsburgh Steelers and howling at the moon--both figuratively and, on rare occasions, literally.

5 replies on “Tunesday: The Dead, Box of Rain”

Watched the simulcast of Saturday’s show in Santa Clara with a buddy here in Colorado that also spent some time in Pittsburgh and talked about that show and thought about you guys. I’ll be at the last on in Chicago in 6 days through my brother’s perseverance and connections. Haven’t really listened to the Dead much in the last 20 years but looking forward to it all the same.


Liked by 1 person

I have some other friends headed to Chicago–and not at scalper’s prices. Like you, I haven’t listened to a lot of the Dead–all those cassettes!–but American Beauty still makes it’s way into the car’s 5cd changer (it’s there now) because it’s music all four of us enjoy. I’m happy to see you found your way to the blog. I have some fun here, writing in this place, wearing this mask.


I got Bill Kreutzman’s memoir for Christmas and he talks about that PGH show and calls the series of rain songs they played that night something like “maybe the last great prank the band played.”


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